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Lehman Brothers Ups WiderThan to Overweight

Lehman Brothers upgraded WiderThan (WTHN) to overweight from equal-weight, citing a healthy 2006 outlook for ringback tones and music on demand product sales from the mobile entertainment services provider's key customer Verizon (VZ).

Analyst Jeff Kvaal believes Verizon is optimistic about subscriber growth in its ringback unit, which may now exceed 1.5 million users following its promotional campaign in January. He notes that Sprint Nextel (S) said it has delivered 1 million downloads from its mobile music service since its launch in late October, and he considers this indicative of an emerging market for mobile music. He raises his 67 cents 2006 earnings per share (EPS) estimate to 78 cents and his 98 cents estimate for 2007 to $1.00. He has a $17 stock price target.

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